Gulf of Aden Security Review

A regularly updated review of both Yemen and the Horn of Africa covering topics related to security, governance, and militant activity.

Yemen: US Secretary of State lauds Saudi role in brokering Hadi government-STC power-sharing agreement; Saudi official acknowledges talks with al Houthi movement; Saudi Arabia participates in US naval exercise

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab detonates IED near Mogadishu; unidentified jets conduct airstrikes in Lower Shabelle region; Ethiopian troops arrest Jubbaland officials in Gedo region

Yemen Security Brief

US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo met with Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al Jubeir in Washington DC on November 5. Secretary Pompeo expressed gratitude for Saudi Arabia’s efforts  brokering a power-sharing agreement between the Transitional Political Council for the South (STC), a southern Yemeni secessionist group, and President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government. President Hadi and STC President Aydarus al Zubaidi signed the agreement in Riyadh on November 5 to end weeks of fighting between STC-aligned forces and Hadi government-aligned forces in and around Yemen’s de facto capital, Aden.[1]

A Saudi official acknowledged on November 6 that it Saudi Arabia is holding talks with the al Houthi movement with the goal of negotiating a resolution to Yemen’s civil war. The official did not elaborate on the nature of communications but said that Saudi Arabia has had “an open channel with the Houthis since 2016.”[2]

Royal Saudi Naval Forces are participating in a maritime exercise hosted by US Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) that spans from the Gulf of Aqaba to the northern Arabian Gulf. The exercise began on November 3 and serves to maintain regional security and freedom of navigation. NAVCENT Commander Vice Admiral Jim Malloy stated, “We all recognize that as navies, the maritime has extreme value in promoting stabilization, security and promoting the flow of commerce back and forth.”[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Al Shabaab detonated a roadside improvised explosive device (IED) targeting Somali National Army (SNA) troops in the Sinka Dheere area on the outskirts of Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, on November 6. The IED injured three SNA troops.[4]

Unidentified jets conducted airstrikes targeting al Shabaab militants near Awdheegle town in Lower Shabelle region in southern Somalia on November 6.[5]

Ethiopian troops serving under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) arrested Jubbaland State officials in Beled Hawo, Dolow, and Luq districts of Gedo region in southwestern Somalia on November 6. Ethiopian troops arrested Jubbaland political and military officials for failing to cooperate with the Somali Federal Government, according to Somali media.[6]

Visit our YemenSaudi Arabia, and Somalia storystreams.

[1] “Secretary Pompeo’s Meeting with Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir,” U.S. Department of State, November 5, 2019,

[2] “Riyadh has ‘open channel’ with Yemen’s Houthi rebels: Saudi official,” AFP, November 6, 2019,; and “Saudi Arabia holds talks with Houthis,” al Bawaba, November 6, 2019,

[3] “Saudi navy takes part in international maritime exercise,” al Arabiya, November 5, 2019,

[4] Tuuryare, Abdirisak, “Somalia: Bomb Blast Injures 3 Soldiers Near Mogadishu,” Mareeg, November 6, 2019,

[5] “Warplanes Conduct Airstrike On Al-Shabaab Bastion In Southern Somalia,” Radio Shabelle, November 6, 2019,

[6] “Ethiopian Troops Detain Somali Officials In Gedo Province,” Radio Shabelle, November 6, 2019,

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